Arabic Language Blog

Describing the Ideal Friend الصَّديق المِثالي Posted by on Apr 7, 2021 in Arabic Language, friendship, Vocabulary

In this post, I thought we would learn how to describe what we think is a true friend صَديق حَقيقي or an ideal friend صَديق مِثالي in Arabic. We’ll look at vocabulary that will help us list possible friend qualities and answer questions. We’ll also watch a video showing pedestrians in Jordan being asked about their description of the ideal friend. 

Image provided by Yasmine K.


kind/nice: لَطيف

understanding/sympathetic: مُتَعاطِف

energetic: نَشيط

funny: مُضْحِك

generous: كَريم

honest: صادِق


(sports: الرِياضة, reading: القِراءة, cooking: الطَبْخ, etc,.)


✨An Arabic proverb used often about friendship is…


.الصَّديق وَقْت الضِّيق

An English  equivalent for this saying would be..  “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. 


هَل لَديك صَديق مِثالي؟ كَيفَ تَعَرَفْت عَليه/عَليها؟

Do you have an ideal friend? How did you get to know him/her?

ما هي صِفات صَديقك؟

What are your friend’s characteristics? 


✨Here is a video of an interviewer asking Jordanians what they think are the specifications or qualities of an ideal friend. 

I have transcribed and translated the first answer to help you read along as you listen, especially since there are many colloquial words being used. 

🎇ماهي مواصفات الصديق المثالي ؟🎇

شو مواصفات الصديق المثالي بنسبة الك؟

يعني هو الجواب واضح من السؤال نفسه إنو يكون مثالي بحيث إنو نجده مثل ما بحكي المثل “الصديق وقت الضيق”. نجده في وقت الحاجة مش فقط مصلحة لما يكون بدو اشي. لما أنا أكون واقع بمشكلة، الاقي. الصديق المثالي أيضاً الي هو الوفي، المخلص الي بعيد عن المصالح بعد تام

حاجة: need

مَصْلحة: interest/benefit 

وَفِيّ: loyal

مُخْلِص: sincere

What are the specifications of the ideal friend in your opinion?

Well, the answer is clear from the question itself in that he be ideal and that he be there as the proverb says “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. We find him when he is needed not just for when he wants something for his benefit. When I have a problem, I find him there. The ideal friend is also loyal, sincere and is completely far from self-interest. 

✨Perhaps you can tell in the speaker’s answer above how important it is for a friend to be reliable without worrying that he will only be there when it serves his interests. In Levantine Arabic, we have a word for someone like that مَصلَحجي. It’s a colloquial noun to mean self-interested taken from the standard word مَصْلَحَة to mean “benefit” or “interest”. We call a person مَصلَحجي when he is someone who takes advantage of others or is only helpful when it is for his benefit. 

في ثَقَافَتك، ما هي الخاصية التي تُعْتَبَر مُهِمة أن تَجِدها في صَديق حَقيقي؟

In your culture, what quality is considered important for a true friend to have? 

I hope you enjoyed this post and learned some new vocabulary. 🤓

Till next week, happy Arabic learning! 🙂

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.


  1. Mohammed:

    excellent post.

  2. Mohammed:

    I am interested to get a detailed english book on Arabic inflectional morphology.
    Can you help me please.
    Your cooperatin is highly appreciated